| The dev blog for cloudno.de, a new Node.js hosting platform.

Running Etherpad Lite on Our Node.js Platform

One of our design goals when planning the platform was to fully support socket.io, because this is where node.js really shines: real-time applications like chat, messaging and other collaboration tools. Having followed the original Etherpad from the beginning, we knew about the challenges and complexity of the two-way communication needed for such tools. 

Etherpad Lite

When we heard about Etherpad Lite and its dramatic slim-down, we knew that this is an ideal candidate to test our platform. With Etherpad Lite it should be possible to run an application on a shared hosted platform, which normally needs at least a medium VM just to start up.

  Etherpad Etherpad Lite
Size of the folder (without git history) 30 MB 1.5 MB
Languages used server side Javascript (Rhino), Java, Scala Javascript (node.js)
Lines of server side Javascript code ~101k ~9k
RAM Usage immediately after start 257 MB (grows to ~1GB) 16 MB (grows to ~30MB)

Installation Steps

The installation is straight forward. The only difficulty I encountered, was the dependency on SQLite 3, a database we don’t support out of the box (for now). So, I got SQLite 3.7.7.1, compiled it and added the compiled library to the repository at /usr/lib. That did the job and the app is now live at http://etherpad.cloudno.de.